United Downs Raceway - Easter Sunday 1st April 2018

The weather forecasted threatened rain on Easter Sunday, and that is exactly how it turned out, eventually, and that left the United Downs Raceway awash, but amongst the incessant downpour, there was some good race action.

National Bangers (under 1600cc)

The big money Boneshaker event was the first race on the programme for the under 1600 cc National Bangers, and the luck of the draw left 451 Nigel Belfield and 206 Matt Brewer on the front row of the grid.  Brewer led initially, but then Belfield took over, leaving Brewer to get involved in an assortment of incidents throughout the rest of the race.  In the pits bend, 817 Michael Phillips had his car comprehensively trashed, first by 531 David Hosking, and then by a succession of hits.  Belfield powered on in the lead, and was still comfortably clear late on when 246 Ryan Sparks moved into second place.  The pits bend saw the last of the action, when Brewer finally came to a halt, which left him prone to a thumping hit by World Champion 74 Adam Hitchcock.  Belfield won, from Sparks, and 59 Mike Hamley was third.  In the first of two Allcomers races, Hamley recorded a first ever St Day victory, with a fairly routine flag to flag success.  Boneshaker winner Belfield dished out a heavy fencing to 45 Anthony Croshaw, but with a depleted field, action was at a premium.  Hitchcock was in entertaining mode again, at the start of the second Allcomers, as he plastered Hosking around the turnstile bend plating.  Sparks looked to be cruising to victory, but he was delayed late on by Hitchcock, and that set up a duel between Sparks and 190 steve Bailey.  Just when Sparks looked to have preserved his lead, Bailey took a long dive at him, to spin him up the turnstile bend fence, before going on to win from Belfield and Hamley.  The Destruction Derby raised five starters, including Phillips, who sat on the home straight waiting to be blasted, and Hitchcock duly obliged to leave the 817 car an impressive wreck.  Brewer, Hitchcock and 113 Jack Gill battled out the closing stages, with Brewer delivering the telling final blow to take the win.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Western Championship for Saloon Stock Cars attracted 16 drivers, and on a damp track, 399 Cole Atkins, 130 Chris Durrant and Scotsman 600 Barry Russell were all spinners in the early stages of the first heat.  276 Ben King got into the lead, but he was hunted down by 27 Kieren Bradford who notched his first win of the season.  Heat two was the race of the afternoon, and it began with 316 Danny McCluskey being spun aside early on, as King went into the lead from Atkins and 447 Adam Hicks.  King and Atkins then clashed on the home straight as they disputed the lead, but 84 Carl Boswell was just out of range to capitalise.  That left Boswell to be swallowed up by the pack, as Atkins and King powered on in the lead.  Late on, Russell and 28 Ian Govier tangled in turn four, and in a dramatic conclusion, Atkins won, but Scotsman 670 Ross Watters pounced to steal second place.  Scots 661 Graeme Shevill and Watters stormed up the order in the Western title race, but they had no answer to Atkins, who ran out an emphatic winner – his second feature final win of the Easter weekend.

Stock Rods

The Adam Ignaczak Trophy day is always an important one for the Stock Rods, who contested two graded heats, ahead of the closed grid final for the prestigious trophy.  However, the day was totally dominated by 944 Callum Hosie, who swept the board, to remain unbeaten all day.  705 Dave Ham blew up at the start of the first heat, and retired to the infield, leaving 72 Mark Soby some way clear in the lead.  However, Hosie had caught him by halfway, and he then went on to score a convincing win.  Points Champion 151 Simon Vincent was out of luck, as he suffered front end damage to his car, and retired from the afternoon’s races.  In heat two, 437 Lewis Trickey spun on the back straight in the opening stages, and 92 Adam Daniels retired with a trailing exhaust.  The race followed a similar pattern to heat two, as Soby led, but Hosie caught him around the midpoint, before securing his second win of the day.  That put Hosie and 351 Rhys Langdown on the front row for the final.  Hosie made by far the better start, but initially he could not shake off 3 Matt Peters.  Further down the order, Soby retired, and Daniels momentarily pulled up on the infield.  Hosie began to edge away from Peters, who did likewise to 9 Chris Drake in third, and that was how things panned out over the closing stages.

Ministox

The 17-car entry of Ministox was an exclusively south west one.  In the first heat, 946 Stacey Coombes sped into the lead, and the action came mid-pack, as 917 Gemma Robbins spun 677 Warren Darby at the end of the back straight.  That brought about a caution period, but Coombes was away and gone for the restart, as she claimed a fourth successive St Day win.  Heat two was a more exciting race.  Darby repaid the compliment to Robbins, as he spun her on the home straight.  The race concluded with 619 Max Langmaid successfully dislodging 982 Cameron Holmes from second place, in a very close finish.  However, it was Coombes who had won again, taking her winning sequence to five.  The Snell Family Trophy final went all the way to the last bend, too.  Coombes led, and led and led.  However, with only a couple of laps to go, she dithered when she encountered backmarkers and that gave Darby the sniff of a chance.  He chased Coombes down the back straight, and produced a text book last bend challenge.  Darby stole the win, Coombes bounced off the fence for second place, and Holmes completed the top three.  The win was Darby’s third success in this particular race, in four years.

National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Boneshaker 451 246 59 190 912 nof
Allcomers 1 59 190 912 246 74 333 113 45 nof
Allcomers 2 190 451 59 74 206 nof
King of Crash/DD 206
Most Wrecked 531
Entertainer 74
Best Presented 333 912
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 27 276 56 84 661 399 199 78 600 28
Heat 2 399 670 27 199 661 56 447 78 28 800
Final 399 661 670 27 199 56 800 447 78 600
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 944 92 3 351 72 909 14 437 9 426
Heat 2 944 351 3 9 14 34 909 72 426 437
Final 944 3 9 351 437 34 909 14 426 92
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 946 619 917 980 985 654 982 998 577 927
Heat 2 946 619 982 985 677 980 998 577 654 927
Final 677 946 982 619 980 654 985 998 577 914
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